The UCO Leschi Lantern + Flashlight
By Bob Neves
As someone who frequently goes camping, backpacking and spends time outdoors, I’m always looking for the newest gear of good quality. The UCO Leschi lantern is a great little light for the money. It is small and weighs very little at 1.6 ounces without the battery. It gives off a good beam when used as a flashlight and the size is just about perfect for use in the tent or on a picnic table as a lantern.
For use as a flashlight just turn it on with the light in its smallest closed configuration. To use the light as a lantern pull the reflector out from the main tube shaped body and the light expands revealing the clear plastic to illuminate the area.
It is a 110-lumen light and the size to weight ratio for hanging in a tent worked great. It runs on one AA battery with an IPX rating of 5. The light has three modes. Low which is 34 lumens with a run time of 4 hours, high which is 110 lumens with a run time of 2 ½ hours, and strobe which will run for approximately 7 hours.
I appreciate the intention of the light, which was designed in the United States but manufactured in China. The quality of construction is not bad, but not great either. It is of plastic construction, which I would label as good. Not as robust as an aluminum design. I tested this light for a few weeks since receiving it and dropped it a few times but I did not abuse the light. As for all weather testing yes it took splashes, it got wet and continued to function in damp conditions.
I ran the light on the low mode for over two hours without any issues. The light has a good O-ring to seal out moisture but I did not fully submerge the light in water. I like the light for its versatility size and weight. You can put it in your pocket or pack, hang it inside a tent or out with the included tethered bungee. The elastic bungee attached to the light works great with mounting the light in a variety of positions for hands free use. The tether is made of small bungee/elastic cord, which is permanently attached to the side of the light on one end, and the other end is removable to secure the light to objects such as sticks, packs, tree limbs, tent loops etc.
The Leschi can be used as a one light option for minimalists and lightweight backpackers or it could be used as a backup light in conjunction with a headlamp or a larger lantern. One negative item to note, which I found bothersome, was the silicone tail cap mode sensitivity. It was very easy, too easy to switch between low, high, and strobe. One feature, which would be helpful for UCO to add, would be memory of last mode used. Currently the light runs through the modes so when you turn it off the next time you turn it on it switches to the next mode.
Accidents happen and sometimes gear is lost while on trips in the wilderness or elsewhere. You will not be at a big loss financially if you lose this little guy like you would with similar more expensive lights. I enjoyed this UCO light; the positives far outweigh the few minor negatives. Yes, there are much better responsive clicky switches on the market and a memory for the mode selected would be appreciated but for the money all in all this little light can’t be beat especially if you are on a budget. It retails for $14.95.
Find the Leschi Lantern + Flashlight at UCO: http://ucogear.com/leschi-lantern-flashlight.html